"If you build it he will ... ummm ... how the fuck does this bastard thing go the fuck together then?"
-- Field Of Screams
Ikea then. The big Swede cops it's fair share of whacks and not without reason; much of their gear is the tattiest of cheap tatt. But for years I'd been searching out a good set of shelves to store my records (even going so far as to draw up a design for custom building) and yet couldn't find a bloody thing. On the off chance they may have had something, I choofed into IKEA for a squizz at what they had on offer, and as I rounded one of their many, many, many corners, walked straight into those shelves on the left. "Hmmm, promising," I muttered through clenched teeth as I rubbed by knee, and went to ask a shop drone for a ruler to measure the compartments. Whaddaya know! Turned out each box was exactly 13 inches square. Absolutely spot-on for storing 12 inch LPs. They are a good looking affair, too, aren't they. And solid. A very good buy, as it turned out.
Anyhoo, it's about now long-time readers go "What the? He's written about this before!" And it's true, I have, but back then I never mentioned how easy it was to put them together. True, the shelves came in a zillion parts, but assembling those parts was no more difficult than doing a big jig-saw.
So the point is? Well, it's this.
I am good with my hands, not great, mind, just good. This is because I was trained to use them. I did an apprenticeship. I can even weld. Before I did my time, though, I was as daft as the next person, easily gulled by gags about left-handed screwdrivers, black and white paint and long waits. A good apprenticeship sorts that out.
When you start an apprenticeship you must sign your indentures. That's a form of contract binding you to an employer for the term of the apprenticeship. These indentures contain a strict clause which solemnly states "Upon completion of your apprenticeship you will have attained a level of competency commensurate with your training. At any point from this time forward, should you come across any person struggling with a manual task you are legally obliged to laugh at that person." Fair enough, too. Laughing at people is something I take seriously - Ho. Ho. Tee. Hee.